Posts Tagged ‘Neiman Marcus’

TJ Maxx Alert: Bali Bracelets Like John Hardy’s At Fraction Of Price

July 14, 2012

We made our nearly weekly joint — we mean jaunt — to the great TJ Maxx in Paramus, N.J., yesterday and found a treasure trove in the jewelry department.

That store had a wide variety of handcrafted woven sterling silver jewelry, bracelets and earrings, made in Bali. The price range was $100 to $250 on the bracelets, $50 on the earrings.

The pieces looked just like the John Hardy bracelets that Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus are selling right now at double, triple and four times the price as the ones in TJ Maxx. Like Hardy, the TJ Maxx Bali bracelets have dashes of 18 carat gold on them, and some had small diamonds (although not of very good quality).

If you only wear designer jewelry, we get that. But if you are not fussy, or don’t mind mixing non-designer stuff with your John Hardy or Lagos pieces, then check out your TJ Maxx for this Bali jewelry.

Guys, If Your Woman Wants To Give You A ‘Spanx,’ Don’t Get Too Excited

May 30, 2010

Spanx compression T-shirt for men

Spanx, said to be the secret why the stars look slim on the red carpet, has been a big product on QVC for years, before gaining national press for their use by celebs. Creator Sara Blakely was once practically a fixture on the home shopping channel.

In the past year or so we’ve seen Gwyneth Paltrow quoted about putting on not one, but two, pairs of the Spanx shapewear to look good after just having a baby. And Tyra Banks and Wanda Sykes now own up to wearing Spanx.

Well ladies, maybe someday you’ll be able to buy Spanx on QVC — for your husband or main squeeze.

The Style Section of The Sunday New York Times today reports that “foundation garments,” as a Neiman Marcus executive called them, for men are hot sellers. And Spanx was the first on the bandwagon with its Spanx for Men line, described by The Times as “a huge retail hit.”

The story on men’s shapewear is headlined “Just Don’t Call It A Corset.”

While Spanx for women started out as panties with legs that hold your tummy and butt in tight, it’s a different product for men.

Spanx is offering “compression” T-shirts and tank tops, to gird up men’s stomachs, for $58 and $55, respectively.

They are now being sold at not only Neiman but Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom.

Women, or men, if you want Spanx for Men to come to QVC, let the home shopping network know.

But remember, just as we women must, that once you take that garment off, everything falls back to its normal position.

The Times quoted one critic as tweeting, “Spanx for Men is all good, until you meet a chick. You gain 45 lbs when you get naked.”

Great kicker, and true.

Sunday Scoop: Is Luxury Jewelry Designer John Hardy Coming To QVC?

February 21, 2010

Actress Sienna Miller modeling John Hardy jewelry in Vogue

John Hardy is one of those jewelry designers whose pieces we gaze at lovingly at stores such as Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, never daring to ask the price of anything.

His sterling silver pieces, handmade by artisans at his studio in Bali, are gorgeous but pricey. But we may be getting a shot of owning his work, apparently.

According to FLA GM, who posted on QVC’s online jewelry forum, Hardy is coming to QVC. How does she know? The poster said her daughter attended a QVC sterling designer meet-and-greet for customers Saturday, and that she overhead “LR” say Hardy was coming onboard.

Our guess is that “LR” is QVC host Lisa Robertston. She had been seen on-air sporting a Hardy cuff, with diamonds and red sapphires, that Neiman Marcus was selling for $4,000.

We e-mailed both QVC and Hardy’s public relations departments, so let’s see if we hear back. Maybe the eaversdropper misunderstood what Lisa was saying.

Today QVC is holding its sterling silver designer day, and bringing Hardy on board would be a coup, and an addition to the other high-end jewelry makers that are doing lower-priced lines for the home shopping channel. Those includes names such as Judith Ripka, Robert Lee Morris and Stephen Dweck.

QVC, HSN and ShopNBC Should Give Thanks For Home Shopping’s Sea Change: They’ve Attracted Luxury Brands Like Gucci, Badgley Mischka And Stephen Dweck

November 26, 2009

QVC CEO Mike George

We thought we were seeing things a few days ago when we checked ShopNBC’s Web site and saw that it was selling dozens of Gucci watches. What happened, did they fall off a truck? Why was Gucci, a premier luxury brand, being sold on a home shopping network?

Then back in October, we couldn’t believe it when a sharp-eyed poster on QVC’s jewelry forum said that upscale jewelry designer Stephen Dweck, whose chunky gemstone masterpieces are featured in Neiman Marcus, was on the No. 1 home shopping network’s schedule. THE Stephen Dweck?

We checked QVC’s program guide ourselves, and there it was: Dweck was doing a lower-priced jewelry line for QVC called Dweck’s Diamonds. His Neiman Marcus pieces didn’t even have diamonds. The high-end stuff is made with semi-precious stones.

Also in October, we were checking the press releases on HSN’s Web site when we saw the network had struck a deal with one of the most famous and elite fashion houses: Badgley Mischka, designers of bejeweled gowns for the red carpet and celebrities.

We’ve written bits and pieces of this during the past two months, but we thought we’d tie it all up in a tidy package for Thanksgiving: There has been a sea change in the home shopping world, prompted by the disastrous economy and the crash of the luxury market.

Yes, home shopping networks have seen their sales hurt by the economy, like everyone else. But they claim they are still managing to steal market share from brick-and-mortar retailers. In fact, QVC is making a full-frontal assault on them this Black Friday, with 28 hours of special products and programming stunts starting Thanksgiving night.

The consumer press will continue to mention “cubic zirconia” in every story it writes about QVC or HSN, oblivious to the fact that some of the most esteemed names in fashion, jewelry and cosmetics — brands you find in Saks, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus — are plying their wares on the aforementioned home shopping channels.

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart

Male journalists are blind to this. You still have the nerds at Gawker, a snide Web Site for the navel-gazing media, chiding HSN for selling “useless crap.”

If you have ever seen how male journalists dress or their fashion and style sensibilities, you will realize that you can’t expect them to know names like Badgley Mischka, Judith Ripka, Robert Lee Morris, our fellow Montclair, N.J., resident Bobbi Brown, Yves Saint Laurent, Smashbox, Lancome and Dweck. And these brands and artists don’t represent “useless crap.”

Luxury-good makers are hurting, and they need to make up their loss in sales. So they are turning to outlets like QVC, as CEO Mike George explained at a recent Liberty Media conference, as outlets to distribute new lower-priced lines to the masses. George cited fashion designer Vivienne Tam’s QVC alliance at the meeting held in Manhattan by his parent company, Liberty.

“This complete implosion of luxury retailing in America has caused all these folks to rethink their business model,” George said.

And that means partnering with QVC, HSN or ShopNBC.

As we said, it will take the consumer press years to figure out that home shopping channels are distribution powerhouses that have undergone a transformation, in part because of the infllux of talent like a Morris, who does couture jewelry for designers like Donna Karan and RLM Studio sterling silver jewelry for QVC.

The Big Three — QVC, HSN and ShopNBC — are aggressively trying to broaden their audience and potential customer base, those who don’t normally watch any of these three networks. That means the three are actually “programming” the channels, doing “shows” that have entertainment value, not just product shilling, so they will attract non-QVC or non-HSN watchers.

We remember once interviewing a QVC exec years ago and asking what the network’s ratings were. He said ratings were irrelevant: QVC was only concerned about how many products were sold in an hour.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

That’s a totally different tune from what we heard recently from QVC’s George, and from the strategies that HSN CEO Mindy Grossman and ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart have initiated.

Like traditional TV networks, the home shopping players want viewers to “sample” a QVC or an HSN. These new audience members, hopefully, will then see products that they want to buy.

For example, singer Natalie Cole recently did a live concert on HSN to promote a new Holiday CD set she is selling on the channel. If you’re a fan, you might tune in to HSN to see her, and then actually decide to purchase her CD. Artists such
as Jose Feliciano have also performed live on QVC.

QVC alum Stewart on a recent third-quarter conference call pointed out that actress-entrepreneur Suzanne Somers, who came to ShopNBC from HSN, had succeeded in attracting new viewers to Minneapolis-based ShopNBC because she was “entertaining.” And these networks want new eyeballs.

And home shopping networks’ capacity to reach millions of consumers and do fulfillment of orders has not been lost on magazine publishers, celebrities or cable’s reality TV stars. With circulation falling, women’s magazines such as Lucky, Allure, Glamour and Self are partnering with HSN to sell subscriptions.

And stars have seen the light. In a recent interview in Oprah Winfey’s O magazine, Joan Rivers, who’s had a jewelry line on QVC for almost 20 years, told O she was on home shopping when “nobody except dead celebrities was doing merchandise on TV.”

Nowadays, it’s hard to find a celebrity or TV star who doesn’t have a home shopping line. Even Madonna was interviewed on HSN when she was selling her children’s book.

Here’s a partial list:

Paula Abdul, HSN, formerly “American Idol,” Fox

Rachel Zoe, QVC, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” Bravo

Isaac Mizrahi, QVC, “The Fashion Show,” Bravo

Padma Lakshmi, HSN, “Top Chef,” Bravo

Ramona Singer, HSN, “The Real Housewives of New York City,” Bravo

Susan Lucci, HSN, “All My Children,” ABC

Carson Kressley, QVC, “How to Look Good Naked,” Lifetime Television

Dr. Robert Rey, ShopNBC, “Dr. 90210,” E! Entertainment Television

Tori Spelling, HSN, “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” Oxygen

Paula Deen, QVC, Food Network

Rachael Ray, QVC, “The Rachael Ray Show,” syndication

Ingrid Hoffmann, HSN, Food Network and Univision

Home shopping is a big business. ShopNBC is the also-ran in the group, but in the third quarter Stewart made some nice progress cutting its losses. Sales for the Big Three were all down, but down less than previous quarters.

And we are not talking chump change for these networks. The three home shopping channels generated $8.3 billion in net revenue in 2008. QVC domestic posted $4.9 billion, HSN netted $2.8 billion and ShopNBC had $568 million.

Even with revenue still slipping this year, for the first nine months QVC had revenue of $3.308 billion; HSN had net sales of $1.4 billion; and ShopNBC had $372.6 million in net sales.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Upscale Jewelry Designer Stephen Dweck Returns To QVC With Dweck Diamonds Dec. 8

November 17, 2009

High-end jewelry designer Stephen Dweck will be back at QVC Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. as part of a “Jewelry Gifts of Distinction” event.

Dweck debuted his Dweck Diamonds line for QVC Oct. 28, and it was very well-received. The designer’s work for QVC is nature-inspired, twig and branch-like, with tiny diamond-peppered buds. A lot of items sold out. We loved his stuff — mom didn’t.

The designer and former sculptor is also doing another new line of jewelry, Garden of Stephen, for Bloomingdale’s that is totally different from his Dweck Diamonds and also less expensive than the couture pieces. His high-end jewelry can cost thousands of dollars, and is sold in upscale stores like Neiman Marcus.

Dweck, who lives in Brooklyn, is a real artist but was delightful on the air during his premiere. He was warm, modest and very charming. If we had his talent, our heads would be bigger than a hot-air balloon.

From Neiman Marcus To QVC: Jewelry Designer Stephen Dweck’s Arrival On Home Shopping With Dweck Diamonds, Not Dweck Cubic Zirconia

October 28, 2009

For jewelry lovers, designer Stephen Dweck’s debut on QVC Tuesday night caused quite a buzz. And his premiere didn’t disappoint.

“I was able to finally be a jeweler, but for America,”  said Dweck, who looked more like a bespectacled professor than a red-carpet jewelry designer. “I’m really proud of what I’ve done here tonight.” 

His nature-inspired Dweck Diamonds, crafted out of silver and 14 carat gold, ranged in price from $55 for a ring to $604 for a gorgeous swirl necklace

Dweck, who was quite modest and charming, has worked on his QVC line for more than a year. In New York, we would call him a mensch. His company is a family business, with his mom and brothers part of the operation. He said he fans are called “Dweckettes.”

During his premiere show Dweck said, “Jewelry is such  an important part of our lives, whether we admit it or not,”  calling his QVC pieces “future heirlooms.”

A few years ago Dweck had a trunk show at the Neiman Marcus in Short Hills, N.J., and we purchased our first and only piece of his jewelry: a big necklace with large pieces of bright red bamboo coral. It was very much a signature Dweck piece.

We have blanked out how much we paid for it, but we remember it was a lot for us. But we wanted one of Dweck’s pieces. Host Lisa Robertson also said she had some of his jewelry. 

Dweck’s upscale “bench” jewelry is exactly the kind we love: huge, chunky necklaces, rings and bracelets with enormous semi-precious stones. It’s very distinctive. You know one of Dweck’s high-end pieces when you see it.

But his line for QVC is totally different in style from his upscale jewelry. First of all, his QVC jewely incorporates “a kiss of diamonds,” as Robertson put it.

And second, the pieces are on a small, delicate scale, not featuring big rock-like stones. The Dweck Diamonds jewelry is inspired by nature, featuring flowers (the “Caroline” collection) and branch-like and bud-like features (the “Fortuna” collection).

The Caroline and Fortuna collections are named after his two daughters, Dweck said. And the flower-design comes from the flowers that Dweck, an avid gardener,  grows in  Brooklyn, he told Robertson. The third Dweck collection, the Fortuna Black collection, has a black rhodium finish.

Dweck did a very traditional design, a heart in the Fortuna Black collection, that looked like it was made out of a miniature twigs, with a bark-like texture. The QVC pieces are modeled after real branches Dweck has in his studio.

Dweck is so passionate about jewelry, it was a pleasure to watch him. He says he gets ideas for his work when he dreams at night, and scribbles them down in the dark.

“It makes me very proud to be a jeweler,” he said, talking about his Fortuna Black Criss Cross Bangle.

Dweck started out studying sculpture, and several of his pieces are in museums, including the Metroplitan Museum of Art.

Dweck is also a great cook, dishing up lunch for Robertson when she visited his studio, she told viewers.

So for those who still use the words “cubic zirconia” to describe home shoppings networks: HELLO!

Luxury jewelry designers such as Judith Ripka and Robert Lee Morris all have lower-priced lines for QVC. Morris designs runway jewelry for fashion designer Donna Karan. We’re very happy he is doing sterling silver for QVC. Dweck is in very good company.

Of  his QVC line, Dweck said, “Jeweler meets artist, and vice versa.” We agree.